Explorer #5 - 2006 XLT V6 | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Explorer #5 - 2006 XLT V6

2006 Explorer XLT 4.0 V6 4x4 - 81,000 miles
Charcoal Beige (Not sure of the real name) with the ugly faded plastic.
Medium Light Stone cloth interior, not many options. Power drivers seat, 3rd row seats, thats about it.

Been out of the Explorer game for a few years now, after I sold my 2000 Limited, I got a little Focus for work, but realized saving gas wasnt worth the price of comfort and luxury, so I picked up a 2004 Crown Vic LX Sport. Was at a Dodge dealer some time later with a friend who picked up a newer model Charger R/T, I fell in love, and let the dealership talk me into trading the Vic in for a 2013 R/T. Worst Winter we've ever had lead me to trade that in and lease a Patriot which I ended up "giving" to my girlfriend after we bought our house a few months prior. Patriot wasnt really for big guys like myself, and the 4 cylinder was just terrible and slow. I picked up an 09 Edge Limited with around 100k miles. Regretably didnt do much research on them first. I always loved the look, and when I randomly saw this one, I jumped on it. Ran and drove great, but started to develop numerous problems which kept it off the road for a month or two while I replaced parts in the blistering cold Winter last year. All was well, then it got the infamous PTU leak, trans seals going bad, among other large problems. Could not afford to keep it and fix it, so I had to take a hit and trade it in.

Local dealer happened to just get this 2006 Explorer in, and from across the parking lot seeing it, I had to have it. It has 80k miles, runs and drives great. 4x4 works flawlessly. Its nice to be back in a body on frame vehicle with differentials and stuff like that :D. The Edge was super fun, smooth and fast, but boy when there was a problem, it was EXPENSIVE.

The previous owner smoked in it, and had kids. Lots of kids it looks like. Kids who had no discipline either, because there is crap under every crevice and panel. It needs alot of TLC cosmetically, but I haven't torn a vehicle apart in so long, im excited. The Edge was too new and fancy to do anything to, aside from my stereo.

I will upload pictures later, when I get some.

I would love to lift it, but this is my DD to work, which is about 65m per day, so thats not friendly on the pocket at all. I love the look of these being lowered an inch or two, with some good looking (not gaudy) 22's. A style like the Adrenaline rims, like a 5-6 spoke wheel.

Plans are:
-Stereo, speakers, amp, subwoofer, big three upgrade, 2 batteries in the back
-Power auto dim rear view mirror
-Homelink addition somewhere
-Brush bar (The one that just comes up and under the grille, not the big one)
-30" LED bar on the guard
-22" Wheels
-Lower 1.5-2"
-Light tint on the front windows
-Change all applicable fluids to synthetic
-Spark plugs and wires
-Possibly an intake, just for looks, since they dont actually improve performace
-HID retrofit, with black housings, halos, and switchback blinkers
-Open the taillights and replace the running lights with red Halos, LED brake/blinker bulbs
-Slowly convert the interior to black leather, or at least black carpet and black headliner
-New drivers side door panel (Sun faded BAD)
-New console lid, worn out where your arm rests on it
-3rd row delete (PM me if youre interested in swapping)

Many other things as well, that ill list as I go. This is all gonna be in good time.

I also want to replace the gas cap. Somehow the PO managed to break the little holding wire off, id like to go back to the "capless" system. Anybody have experience with those aftermarket capless caps?


1/07/2016 Update:

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So I got a GREAT little piece of mail today on my way to work. Open it up, it's from my mortgage company, they were charging me too much for my flood/home insurance and cut me a hefty check.

I just placed my order for the BTF upper control arms :D and then I will be ordering the lift once the check clears in my account (mobile banking) and then I already have an account set up to get my tires (and possibly new wheels) so all I have to front now is for some good new brakes, both rotors and pads front and back.

I'm like a kid on Christmas morning over here, these next few weeks are gonna go by so slow from all the excitement!

I was just laughing because I noticed in my first post, for my plans I mentioned lowering and 22" wheels. Glad they don't sell any lowering stuff for these X'es, I'm gonna be much happier lifted.

I'm probably gonna go with a 5 spoke black 20" wheel. I am a sucker for big wheels, especially when they have some sexy aggressive tires on them. Worst case scenario, an 18" wheel.

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So I had a fun weekend.

Driving to work Saturday afternoon, it was downpouring, potholes everywhere, and well you can guess what a big pothole would do to an old wheel bearing.

Got to work fine, noticed nothing, but when I left work, there was this nasty thumping type sound, as well as really bad grinding/groaning from the rear. Would completely go away when I would accelerate, or turn left. Got home, jacked it up, drivers rear wheel had like 1/2" probably of play.

Was shown a video by another member in a thread I posted in the 4th gen area, and the video was Eric the car guy doing a rear bearing on a 3rd gen. Basically the same, but this is just one of those things I was not comfortable doing. He had professional quality tools, air hammers, good quality air tools and was talking about how its the worst bearing job he's ever done. For me to order parts on RockAuto was going to be a little over $200, plus the cost of having a shop press the bearings out and in, I would imagine another $100~ so we'll say me doing it myself was going to be about $300, give or take.

Plus I work 12 hours a day, its bitter cold, I cant open my garage door because the tension spring just snapped, so I opted to take it to a shop. Called Paul's, Firestone, and the Ford dealer. Pauls said about $680, Ford said $1100+, Firestone said about $750, but was talking to me like I was an uneducated little kid. Mind you, I just CALLED and said I need an estimate on rear wheel bearing replacement, blah blah wheels got play, noises, blah blah and he kept insisting that they need to look at it its probably not even the bearing I probably just need a new tire because bad tires make noises blah blah.

So shes at Paul's.

I feel like my manhood has decreased in size, never brought a vehicle to a shop before, but this is just one of those jobs I have no motivation or will-power to accomplish. Im sure I could have, but to save the busted knuckles, bloody hands, cussing, exhaustion of having to go and work 12 hours right after and possibly breaking parts in the process, the shop was the way to go.

Issue was though that I didn't have the $700 to pay anybody to do it. I contacted Brandon at BTF and asked if there was a way to cancel my order (temporarily) and he refunded my money no questions asked. Thats great service right there. I told him as soon as i'm back on the road, and get paid, I WILL be ordering the arms again. Hopefully this Friday or next.

I guess the silver lining is that when I take the rear end apart to get the spacers in, everything will have recently been taken apart and shouldn't give me any trouble LOL!

So, shes back, and better than ever. Shop said the 60 ton press they have barely broke those old bearings free. Its unreal how much smoother/quieter the ride is.

I got my gauge cluster LEDs yesterday installed, today got my Flex shift knob, and today my 52" LED bar mounts should be here. (Silverado mounts, but they should fit with minor modification)

I also have my carpet so I can wrap the rear floor. Gonna have to take it all back apart and also figure out some better mounting options using the stock bolt holes from the 3rd row seating. Right now its rattling and jumping around from the slightest bumps. Super annoying, but the music overpowers it :)

Also really need to get my EQ install into the center bezel finished. Thats been sitting on my damn dinner table for two weeks now.

Hopefully this Friday I can order the BTF arms again, and then next Friday the spacers.

Girlfriend ordered me an early birthday present!

Tomorrow morning ill be placing my order for the BTF arms again, for good this time. Gonna stop at Hot Wheel City one day this week to hopefully pick out some badass tires and wheels, or at least tires. Really going for some 5 spoke flat black wheels.

Only thing really holding me back now is brakes. I was gonna say screw it, and just reuse what I have now, but 1. I don't want to tear everything back down AGAIN when I do my rotors, and 2. I need them, pretty sure previous owner went el-cheap-o on whatevers on there, because my stopping power is a joke. Wouldn't want to lift it, and add more wheel and tire weight to these sad brakes.

Gonna try the drilled and slotted (cant remember the brand off the top of my head) from RockAuto, they have a pretty good package deal all rotors and pads. Reviews I read were pretty damn good as well.

So I've worked everyday since last Monday, and don't have a scheduled day off until next Sunday, but was lucky enough today to go home early, and decided to stop at Hot Wheel City to hopefully pick out my wheel and tire combo. (I was approved there for just under $2,000 with a really reasonable payment and super low interest rate)

I get there and I'm amazed by the wheel selection, barely any room to move through the small aisles where the wheel types are, but this employee/owner(?) finally comes out and asks what I'm looking for, so I told him I was looking for some off road style wheels and tires, probably a 31" tire so on and so fourth for my Explorer. He kept insisting why not lift it more and put 28's on it, going on and on about how big wheels are cooler. Kind of got really annoying to be honest, and I finally said look man I love big wheels but not on my Explorer, I want the thing to be capable hence the lift and AT/MT tires I want!

Then he kept saying how I wont find any off road wheels with my bolt pattern because all off road wheels are for big 5 lug trucks or 6 lug trucks and that he would have to search his inventory for 31" tires because his start at 33". Really made a big deal about what I wanted, but then showed me a couple of nice style 5 spoke wheels, which I loved but his whole attitude really turned me away from them. I'm gonna see if I can't search around for other shops because his customer service skills were ****.

He mentioned at least 5 different times that his Challenger out there has 24's and he's putting some 22's on a mustang right now and those are way bigger than the 20's I wanted. Jackass.

So I now have an accumulating pile of parts, and its growing.

I just placed my last RockAuto order for parts I "need" to have everything for the lift. I just need wheels and tires now. I tried to talk myself into just tires, keeping stock wheels, but I really just hate my wheels, plus thats the final piece that can make or break the look (for me).

If this was strictly a mud toy, I wouldn't care, but since its still my daily, id like to get some nice aggressive wheels for it. Going with the "Fuel" brand Pump style, D515 I believe is the model. They look so damn good. About $200-225 per wheel, and the damn tires are even more expensive, per.

Anywho, I just placed my order for 4 Monroe pre-loaded(?) shocks/struts, and then a set of drilled/slotted rotors all around, and some nice matching brand brake pads. I already forget the name, but Google searching yielded some very positive reviews.

I wish someone made braided brake lines for us, I feel like that would REALLY improve the braking performance. Another member is trying various other style lines, and has gotten some to work, but says to get the others, it will need quite a bit of modification. I am not familiar with brake lines, so im not comfortable doing all that.

My BTF upper control arms came in today. Man these things are beefy and good looking.

Can't wait to move this along, just have to save up some money for wheels and tires. I have enough to buy either just wheels, or just tires right now, but it seems a bit cheaper to order the wheel and tire combo packages, they usually come with free mounting/balancing and whatnot.

So all my parts came. These rotors and pads are more exciting to me than the lift. I cannot wait to install these. Drilled and slotted rotors, along with carbon fiber/ceramic pads. Is it weird to get turned on by car parts? Lol! (JK!)

I decided against the Terra Grapplers, as most reviews say theyre great tires, but alot say bad in mud, ride funky for a few hundred miles, are too round, not round enough, etc meaning excessive wheel weights need to be added.

I am going to go with the BF Goodrich AT KO2's, most likely a 285/60/18.

Still haven't ordered wheels and tires yet. Needed to upgrade my computer, so I picked up a 27" iMac. I had one years ago and sold it, I missed it like crazy and went back for another one.

Anyways, im getting a bit annoyed at my "paused" interior build. I haven't carpeted the rear false floor yet, or really finished it for that matter, and my front panel is all torn out and apart.

I keep throwing the iPad idea around, and finally decided YES for sure on it. I really wanted a full size iPad, but it would just be too much extra work to get it to fit into the radio bezel. The iPad alone would be just as wide as the bezel, so I wouldn't be able to get a nice clean flush look like I want.

I am going with a 2nd generation Mini, and a spring loaded kit like the Soundman kit, but a fraction of the price for the exact same thing.


So since I was also installing a standalone EQ, I was just going to do away with a headunit, and go right from iPad to EQ since it has volume controls as well. I decided against that, I would ultimately like to have the iPad hooked up through a headunit still to retain bluetooth calls, FM, and Aux inputs.

I ordered this under-dash mount for a single din headunit, and it will fit perfectly (with modification) in that "storage" area above the radio bezel.


So it will be mounted upside down compared to what the picture shows. I would love to modify it to house a double din, but I would have to add a few inches of height, and that would take up too much space in front of the windshield.

Plus with the headunit, ill be able to control the music and volume with a remote, whereas I would have only been able to control the music with a standalone bluetooth remote. (Audio was going through the lightning connector, which is fixed volume)

So the iPad is finished, I will add pics later. One of my favorite mods for sure.

I was really hoping to wait on installing all my new parts until I get my wheels and tires, but last night driving home I could hear a sound like one of my calipers were dragging or something. Pulling into the driveway it was making some terrible noises. I looked on both front pads from what I can see there's nothing there.

So I think I'm definitely gonna have to throw my new stuff on, but my rotors are fine I'm almost considering going to pick up some $30 duralast pass and tossing them on to save from having to do all 4 rotors and pads.

Unfortunately its looking like the X is going to have to be traded back in.

Made some poor financial decisions a couple years back, and i'm now aggressively working towards fixing/paying them off, and the Explorer being financed with an extremely high interest rate, has to go. In the long run, if I kept it, just as of what I would pay from NOW until its paid off, would be twice what it blue books for. The huge chunk of extra money ill have every month will allow me to completely pay off all of my debts and start fresh with a "clean" credit report next Spring.

Another big issue is I plan on buying a boat next year, and this Explorer can only tow between 3500-4500lbs from what ive read. I don't have the towing package either, so I would most likely need a larger vehicle either way.

I love this Explorer, its mechanically sound, clean, and modified to my taste, but its in my best interest to get out of this loan.

I recently picked up a project vehicle, which is a 2003 Lincoln LS for just $400. Owner said it needed a new engine, wouldn't run, blah blah. Got it running in no time. Cats were clogged. So far i'm in this project less than $600. Need to put another couple hundred in it and it'll be my new daily driver. Fully loaded, 3.9 V8, ice cold AC, hot heat. AC and heated seats, power everything, etc. Car is cleaner than my Explorer! Gonna suck driving it this winter, but I really don't have a choice. However, when I do start looking for a vehicle next year, im really liking the newest generation Explorers. We'll see what the near future brings!

I will be selling alot of my gathered parts, so check out the for sale section.

iPad dash kit, lift kit, BTF upper control arms, drilled/slotted rotors/pads, etc.

Its really setting in just how much work I did to this thing. Spent a good while today taking out/replacing my aftermarket/added etc parts with the original stuff.

A guy over on the LS forum im on made a great point. My X was bought from a buy here/pay here joint, because I had very poor credit and wouldn't have gotten financed anywhere at the time. I have no regrets with the lot I bought it from, they were great, have great warranties, easy to work with, and very upfront about everything. When I talked to the owner about my situation and needing to basically get rid of the X, he told me to come in, they will relieve me of the loan, etc etc. I was like wow, what nice people, then I realized, uh...duh. Ive been making my payments for quite some time now, so theyre getting a vehicle back, made a bunch of money from me, and then will resell it for probably just as much as they charged me a year ago. Thats why im putting in the effort to yank all my parts out now. I was just gonna leave it as I guess somewhat of a "thank you" to the lot, but they'll already be getting a bunch of goodies like the custom headlights, mesh grille, LED conversion, upgraded speakers, etc.

Today I swapped all the JBL speakers back to stock, but upgraded from what it originally had. (Had the "premium sound" speakers from my Edge still, threw those in) Also pulled the iPad bezel out, since the new one came in. Stock radio is in, 4 channel amp and wiring is out and returned to stock, boy was that fun.

Also got the passenger seat swapped back for the tan cloth. Tomorrow, gonna finish up all the door sill plates and bedliner them, as I was doing it awhile ago and never finished. Also gonna bedliner the bottom of the radio bezel to match the other stuff (See pics tomorrow), get the driver seat swapped back in, my dual runs of 0 gauge will be yanked out, and then hopefully get the back seats back in. Those things have WAY too many damn bolts. The only task I have to figure out how to finish is the rear false floor. Got like 80% of it done and carpeted, looks great, but I have to get fancy and make some kind of flap that fits the rear where the jack sits. Want it to look decent as well.

Replacement bezel (Knock on wood, eBay had an exact match of my stock one. Mine was the carbon fiber, manual HVAC, no message center, no heated seats/adj pedals.

Taped the top off and sprayed bedliner on the beige part to match the cupholders and top dash piece. Came out really good, I like the way it looks.

So I got the dash all back together, I added a switch FINALLY to my "brown wire mod" so you can turn auto on or off, I put the switch next to the 12v outlet, to keep it fairly hidden, and clean.




Back seats back in. Those were a PAIN IN THE ASS! I will never replace carpet again, due to the fact that you have to cut holes where the stock carpet has holes (bolts, wire harnesses, etc). I had to cut 7-8 more holes to get the back seats put back in, and that was literally the hardest part of the whole day I spent working outside today. That carpet and the backing is a B*TCH to cut through!

I also bedlined the door sill plastic pieces in all 4 doors, which looks way better than I thought it would.

So, a little update over a month later.

This past week I got the LS registered, insured and plated to start driving. Drove it on the road for the first time with just cats, heading to the exhaust shop to get the exhaust buckled up. Though it was loud, it drove great. Had him weld pipe in place of the mufflers, but leave the cats and resonators on. Sounds nice and mellow, cruising has a nice light drone (I like the drone, I hate not hearing your exhaust on a V8!).

Drove it to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday without issue. (Though taking it on the highway in the wind led me to find some suspension work that needs done, like ball joints and such, but nothing big). Thursday night on my way home, I started smelling coolant very strong. Got in the right lane, and then a mile or so later, saw the temp gauge climbing up. The LS has alot of plastic parts in the cooling system, like the 4th gen thermostat housing, its plastic, it gets brittle, and just breaks over time. The thermostat housing blew a piece off that appeared to be glued in. Simple fix, but I am replacing ALL of the parts just as preventative from the next plastic part taking a crap on me.

Explorer is still around, and I am again driving it daily as the LS sits in the garage awaiting the cooling parts. Shes still running and driving great. Still needs an alignment, but im gonna let the dealer deal with that.

Driving the LS on Tuesday and Wednesday, there was alot of rain. I swear just putting this car in gear will make it lose traction on un-dry/clean pavement. There is no way I can drive this LS in the snow, if we're actually getting this "terrible" Winter everyone is predicting. I am getting a signing bonus for our new contract this month, and I have been browsing CL here and there when im bored. I will most likely be picking up a 2nd or 3rd gen X, V8 and AWD or 4x4. They're going for dirt cheap around me. $1500~ for a clean, 150k-ish mile turn-key and go 2nd gen V8, and around $2200-$3000 for an equivalent 3rd gen. Would love a 3rd gen, I haven't had one yet, but they seem to be the most problematic of gen 1-4's. But they are so much nicer, and more modern than the 2nd gens. Then again, 2nd gens are tanks, and the ones I've had, had lasted through hell and back. I think my '00 Limited had over 200k original engine and trans, running and driving perfect when I sold it.

Also considering something bigger, like an Expedition, or even older Navigator/Aviator. Probably will end up coming down to whatever I can find first when I am ready. But it will be V8, and 4x4 or AWD. There is an all black 2nd gen V8 on CL right now for $2k OBO, with NO rust, I think 150k miles, and its literally spotless. I was ready to jump on it, but of course it was only 2WD. :( It was just brought up this year from Florida.

Looks like I *MIGHT* be picking up an '06 Eddie Bauer that's down in the Georgia area. Spotless. Higher miles, but clean as hell, runs like a champ. Pretty excited!